Death toll in winter could be twice as high as in first wave of coronavirus, PM to warn

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVI

Prime Minister Boris Johnson during a media briefing in Downing Street, London, on coronavirus (COVID-19). Photo: Henry Nicholls/PA Wire - Credit: PA

The prime minister is expected to warn that coronavirus deaths over the winter could be twice as high as during the first wave as he outlines plans for a second national lockdown.

Boris Johnson will use a statement to the Commons on Monday afternoon to warn that there is “no alternative” but to impose a four-week lockdown across the country to control the pandemic.

The Prime Minister announced the measures on Saturday, following leaked reports of the intended lockdown coming to light on Friday evening.

The press conference announced many businesses will be forced to shut for four weeks to try and reduce the increase in cases that is being seen across England.

Mr Johnson is expected to explain the decision to first impose localised restrictions, despite calls from scientists and Labour several weeks ago for a national “circuit-breaker” to stem the rising number of cases.

More: Call to ‘save the high street’ as shops face second shut downHe is expected to say it was “right to try every possible option” before imposing stringent national restrictions, which will come into force on Thursday.

The Prime Minister is expected to tell MPs: “Models of our scientists suggest that unless we act now, we could see deaths over the winter that are twice as bad or more compared with the first wave.

More: Seeing family and NCFC games - the new national lockdown rules“Faced with these latest figures, there is no alternative but to take further action at a national level.

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“I know some in the House believe we should have reached this decision earlier, but I believe it was right to try every possible option to get this virus under control at a local level, with strong local action and strong local leadership.

“At the end of four weeks, on Wednesday December 2, we will seek to ease restrictions, going back into the tiered system on a local and regional basis according to the latest data and trends.”

More: Impact of factory coronavirus outbreak takes town’s infection rate to highest in EnglandOn Sunday, Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said the lockdown could be extended beyond that date.

More: ‘A double-edged sword’ - headteachers’ cautious welcome to schools staying open in lockdownMore: How will a second lockdown impact grassroots sport?

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